Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Bridgewater to Leigh Branch - Wednesday 4th April

A really bright sunny morning prompted us to another early start and we were soon passing this little marina surrounded by nice houses at Oldfield Quay.IMG_7025

We turned the next corner and entered the 2 mile straight which takes us through Sale and onto Stretford. Here the towpath was like the M1 with cyclists, dog walkers, joggers and people on their way to work.IMG_7027

This stretch is also used by rowers and we had to move over to allow this sculler to go past as they are quite wide with the oars in use.IMG_7028

The second half of the straight is lined with moored boats of the Sale Cruising Club and here we had to pass a very smokey working boat which gives you an idea of just how wide the Bridgewater canal is.IMG_7030

At Sale Bridge the Kings Ransom pub has this floating pontoon as a drinking and dinning area right next to the bridge.


Travelling under the M60 we enter Stretford and shortly made a turn left away from Manchester up the Leigh Branch towards Wigan. A short distance from the junction is the famous Kellogs cereal factory.IMG_7032

We moored up right outside the back entrance to Trafford Park shopping centre, a major development by Intu. Even the back entrance is spectacular with lots of marble and statues everywhere. The mooring is covered by CCTV and security men patrol the area.IMG_7034

This is Barton Square and the ornate covered bridge across to the main Mall. There is even and automated piano playing in a niche on the bridge.b3

There are all the usual shops and many more besides even a Hamleys toy shop. The restaurant area is vast and is separated from the shopping area so that you don’t get all the smells of cooked food whilst shopping. The main area is based on a cruise ship deck and even has a swimming pool and more food outlets than I have ever seen in one place.b4

Within the shopping mall there is a lovely dolphin fountain which shoots up  to the upper mall level every few minutes.20160504_124708

Returning to the boat without burning the plastic too much we headed off to the Barton Swing Aqueduct which takes the canal over the Manchester Ship Canal. It has to swung open with a full load of water when ever a large ship wishes to pass on route to Manchester.b1

I thought that this was a good joke, a mobility scooter stuck high up on the factory wall where they are made.


Just before Parrin Lane bridge is this Lighthouse, a well know landmark for boaters.


New houses have been developed on the entrance to Worsley and this lovely old black and white house marks the entrance to the old mine workings in the arm off to the right.b2

The towpath from Worsley is being upgraded and here the men are at work laying the new tarmac surface for several miles. I understand it is being paid for by Peel Holdings and Salford Council.


We moored up for the day in a nice spot with lovely views over to the Pennines and got the chairs out for Tea and Cake enjoyed in glorious sunshine. The water here is as clear as a bell and you can see the weed on the bottom.


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